Book Publisher

Discover, print, and distribute new books.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
~ $165,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Book Publishers do?

A Book Publisher produces, markets, and distributes books. A senior-level employee within a publishing company, the Book Publisher is in charge of turning an unpublished manuscript into a published book.

Although Novelist John Cheever was correct when he said, “I can’t write without a reader,” the truth is: Before an Author needs a reader, he or she needs a Book Publisher. That’s because a book is just like any other product: There’s a producer, a consumer, and a middleman between them. When you’re a Book Publisher, the middleman is you.

The process begins with acquiring new work. You decide what kind of books you want to publish — fiction or nonfiction, for instance — then you review submissions from Writers, ultimately deciding which manuscripts you want to publish, then negotiating deals to buy them.

Once you’ve purchased a manuscript, you work with the Writer and with Editors to revise it for publication. Meanwhile, you also oversee the process of promoting the book, which includes designing its cover, organizing the Author’s book tour, advertising it, and making sure it’s read by Book Reviewers. Finally, you manage the process of printing the book and distributing it — to libraries, bookstores, and online retailers.

Basically, you’re a book’s CEO. Although a Writer writes it, you’re in charge of turning his or her Word document into a product that’s purchased, read, and enjoyed.

Should I be a Book Publisher?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Music Publisher

    How to become a Book Publisher

    Most Book Publishers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aca9yh&chl=|certificate+%283%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2864%25%29|master%27s+%2825%25%29|doctorate+%288%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,64
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